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Forum Post: ☮ Learning From a Canadian - or - OWS Marketing Follies ☮

Posted 8 years ago on Jan. 29, 2012, 1:59 p.m. EST by Polemarchus (38)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar, was inspired when he famously stated that "Medium is the message.". He knew that images speak a thousand words, and that one needs to be exceedingly careful when forming associations.

Let us take a look at Occupy's latest news article:


Here is the article's title and main image:

Solidarity Sunday - Wear Black Fight Back

Oakland Protest

Already, the expression "Wear Black Fight Back" can lead to confusion. A reading with a previous knowledge of Occupy's rhetoric is required if one is to understand this expression as being metaphorical, and not a call for violence. Even more problematic is the association created with the image in which features an explosion close to the word "cops".

What would Mr. McLuhan think? Is this a non-violent protest's marketing folly?

We believe it's extremely important that Occupy employ utmost care when using expressions such as "Wear Black Fight Back". It should always be obvious that the idea of "fighting" is metaphorical, and not violent. Associating such expressions with images of explosions near the word "cops" is problematic in our opinion as it can provide ammunition to Occupy adversaries who wish to tarnish the protesters' reputation of being non-violent.

I'm also wondering how we are supposed to identify the black bloc if everyone is dressed in black? Doesn't this make it easier for them to blend in with the real Occupy protesters?

We thus recommend that OWS change this article's image with one that better exemplifies the type of "fighting" that OWS protesters should engage in; which is, undoubtably, non-violent resistance.

P.S. Does anyone know which Photoshop filter was used to create this fake explosion just under the word "cops"?



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[-] 2 points by April (3196) 8 years ago

This picture is probably the worst yet. It sends a terrible message about the movement. As if this kind of action represents the views of the majority. And the way the movement should go about doing things.

I cannot believe the majority of protesters want pictures like this representing the movement or actions like this defining and being used by the movement.

Not to mention the associated words in the Article. Who writes this ridiculous garbage in the News Articles? That there are some handful of behind the scenes people writing these articles with no review process by any larger cross-section of the movement is a major problem. These kinds of articles are highly visible and too important to be left to the hands a few behind the scenes people.

I believe this happens because if it were left to a Working Group and GA, no News Articles would ever be published. It would be bogged down in the ridiculous nonsense of Direct Democracy and the endless debate of trying to gain consensus.

The wording that is used in many of these News Articles, and evident here - "our resolve to overcome repression". Overcome repression? Wait, what? Who's repressed? By who? The government? This isn't Egypt. We don't have a dictatorship in this country. We have problems that should be solved by working with and through government.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago
[-] -1 points by Polemarchus (38) 8 years ago

It looks like it was added with Photoshop. Right there, perfectly under the word "cops". It seems like propaganda 101. It really does.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

I've heard sales tactic broken down unto three categories of drive

fear sex and one upmanship

and think their are more

hunger comes to mind

[-] -1 points by Polemarchus (38) 8 years ago

That there are some handful of behind the scenes people writing these articles with no review process by any larger cross-section of the movement is a major problem.

You hit the nail right on the head with the force of a sledgehammer swung by a beefy lumberjack of yore. Right on target. I couldn't have said this better myself.

I'm stunned, absolutely and utterly stunned, that I'm being called a troll by Occupy protesters for bringing this up. It's like people enjoy shooting themselves in the foot. Criticism is important! That's how you discern flaws so that you can find ways to eliminate them.

There are so many protesters here who care about peace: ZenDog, GirlFriday, GypsyKing, TIOUAISE, etc... All of them spend their time fighting off lame trolls who come here and accuse Occupy of being violent with crappy one line posts, but they do nothing when Occupy writers publish articles of this nature. Instead, they call me a troll for bringing it up. I'm shaking my head so violently that my hair is going all bad. With vigor I scream - "Honey, where's my comb?".

This protest is going under fast because everyone is treating it like a cult in which you shut your trap and blindly follow the leader. Honestly, I think Occupy is important. It does serve a purpose. A big one. However, for it to shine like a diamond, all Occupy protesters need to start developing a critical eye. When you have a baby you keep a close watch on it. If it's sick, you rush to the hospital. Occupy is a little sick right now. It's time to do something before it's too late.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 8 years ago

File info I'll leave it up till you get a chance to look it over.

[-] 1 points by timirninja (263) 8 years ago

today i got banned already. probably because of oakland video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QngE6kKk8Lg

[-] 0 points by April (3196) 8 years ago

Was this video from the Municipal Auditorum incident? Were you there?

[-] 1 points by timirninja (263) 8 years ago

i got your sarcasm. but smiths doesn't understand mine. people have to now at least what is going on in the country http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OCCUPY_OAKLAND?SITE=VTBEN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 8 years ago

I wasn't trying to be sarcastic. I watched the video. I just wanted to make sure it was the same convention center/municipal incident. I can't tell.

I read news reports that protesters were tearing down fencing to try to gain entry to the convention center and also that protesters had entered City Hall and were burning flags and caused other damage.

Some of the news reports didn't give that much detail of how the arrests were carried out. One place I read that the occupiers were not given enough time to disperse before the police moved in. Another said that the protesters starting throwing rocks and bottles at police. I just wondered if you maybe knew something more.

Who's smiths?

[-] 1 points by timirninja (263) 8 years ago

Who's smiths? it hard to explain =) i'll try to switch the narrows to the freak mode. its angels. watch this video starting from 5:08 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hEC64g3sq4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7FI-P8wl2s

[-] 1 points by timirninja (263) 8 years ago

i was born in other country and i feel that US news channels has not legitimate enought toward american people. for some unexplainable reasons my subjective point of view for whole a lot things correlate to independent media channel rt.com. i will be very upset if i'll find out RT providing false information. For example western media shows that in recent Russia protests were several civil unrest and explosives. But in fact Fox news "made mistakes" they said, and those footage were from Greece protests.

[-] 0 points by April (3196) 8 years ago

I have no idea what you just said.

[-] 1 points by timirninja (263) 8 years ago

educate yourself

[-] 1 points by timirninja (263) 8 years ago

well i clearly saw a lot of smoke and explosions forced against oakland protesters. can't you see? http://rt.com/news/occupy-oakland-police-gas-971/ if <- this one want work try this -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHoVfb9asJQ

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 8 years ago

Another crappy News Article, highlighting violence, from the behind the scences News writers.

[-] -1 points by Polemarchus (38) 8 years ago

Why didn't I think of that? One sentence. Simple. On target. Why the hell did I have to write a long post to express what you did with only a few words?

Damn girl... you got ya laser on target-lock.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 8 years ago

Not really. I just can't write so good as you.

[-] 0 points by DJnamaste (-6) 8 years ago

Is that what they're learning to do in the Disobedience Camp?

[-] 0 points by DJnamaste (-6) 8 years ago

Foreshadows from the past!